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Homeowner’s fence destroyed for second time, blames construction detour

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A portion of a historic mountain town is getting a much needed face-lift to its antique infrastructure.

Construction began on Phase II of a project to revitalize storm drains, sewers, water mainlines, sidewalks and the road along a portion of Colorado Boulevard in March. This phase of the project is expected to be completed by July.

“Construction is a pain. We’ve got to go through that pain to get the end result,” Idaho Springs Mayor Michael Hillman said.

Some homeowners are fed up with the construction mess though.

“I don’t know what to do. I really don’t,” Frank Duran said.

He lives at the corner of Ninth and Miner streets. The construction detour diverts traffic that exits Interstate 70 at Idaho Springs’ westernmost exit onto local roads, like Duran’s street, because Colorado Boulevard is closed.

However, commercial trucks and buses are too big to make the tight turns on the narrow, historic roads.

Last week, Duran said a commercial truck came down Ninth Street around 4 a.m. and tore down his chain-link fence while trying to turn left onto Miner Street. He said the driver continued driving without stopping.

“Went over my sprinkler system, that had a pipe out [and] broke the concrete,” he said.

He estimates the truck caused about $2,000 worth of damage to his property, and worries it will happen again since this is the second time his fence has been hit so far this year.

“They bring it up on their phone and to them they can go through. When they find out they can’t, then they’re stuck,” Duran said.

He said he has asked the Idaho Springs Police Department and city officials to make some changes to prevent any further damage, but said he has gotten nowhere.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers met with Hillman for answers. Hillman said there is one sign on I-70 warning truckers not to exit Stanley Road and to wait to enter Idaho Springs until Highway 103 instead. He agreed one sign is not enough.

“We’re doing better local signage and that should be implemented as soon as we speak,” he said.

Hillman also said the city will work with Duran to ensure his property will stay safe throughout the duration of the construction project, but couldn’t elaborate on what that will entail, saying “when we get to that point we’ll have to figure that out.”

Duran said he is not looking for a handout, he is simply hoping the city will keep its promise to keep over-sized vehicles off of their narrow residential streets.